Luke Preston #722
Bike: 2014 KTM 200 XC-W
Class: C Open
Home Series: IXCR
Luke Preston finished his first race in 2014 and from then on out, he was hooked on the sport. He has made some major strides in the past year, XCRN got the opportunity to sit down with Luke to find out all of the details.
Two short years ago, you were racing in youth, how long did you run the youth class? When did you first start racing?
I ran in supermini for my first two years of riding and racing. I first started racing in April 2014 at the Limestone 100. I ended up finishing last in supermini 14-15 but I was hooked on racing.
Last year was your first full year in adult and you started out in the D class, did you start in that class based on your performance in youth? Do you feel that you performed better in adult then youth and why?
Yeah, I finished 7th in points and my best finish in youth was 6th place so I thought there was no way I could compete with the guys in C class. I definitely felt more comfortable racing adult because I was just too tall to be on a supermini.
How do you feel the competition is in adult versus youth?
In adult it’s way more even as far as all of the riders in the class. In youth, you have kids that can race in the A and B classes in adult and finish well.
It appears to me that each year that you have been out there that you have gotten better and better. Do you feel that you are progressing like you want to?
I definitely do feel more comfortable on the bike with every race. I feel like I’m progressing a good amount but I definitely want to start to get consistent wins.
I know there was a time when you were catching some slack from some people because you really started to improve. How do you feel about that? What kinds of things were you doing to improve your speed and skills?
Yeah, I’ve seen it not only with myself but also with a lot of other people. Once you get a win, it seems like you immediately become a sandbagger. But, honestly I used it as motivation. I wanted to keep improving so for awhile I was in the gym after school 4 days a week and I was riding whenever I could. I wanted to get more comfortable on a big bike.
This year, you are putting up a fight for the Open C riders. You are consistently placing in the top and there is a tight points chase. How are you feeling about this season so far?
Yeah, I’m loving this year. The beginning was super rough because I had a lot of mechanical problems. Then I got a couple wins in a row. But, at Popcorn XC, I was running in first and somehow I fell back to 5th. I felt like I was running good but I guess the other four guys were just running better.
This season is about halfway over, where do you see yourself for next season?
Next season I see myself on a different bike, in a higher class. I feel like I’m going to have to work super hard to compete with the guys in B, but I have the confidence in myself that I can run with them.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank for your success in this sport?
First off, without all of my family, this would be impossible. They support my dream and passion and it means the world. I’d also like to thank SatLInk, Shorty’s Bar and Grill, J.Howard Jewelers, Living Room Center, Phedcomm, Stacy Mundy Photography, Answer Racing, Decal Works, Scott Goggles, EVS, Torc 1 Racing, ProTaper, FMF, and Maxxis Tires.
What is your favorite movie quote?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
What advice could you give someone that is racing youth right now?
Ride as much as you can with as fast of riders as you can. It will help you drastically and I can assure you the results will show it.
Luke Preston fell in love with the sport on his first race and has been working hard every since to improve his skills. He has made some major strides over the past year and is very much an up and coming threat. His hard work and dedication has paid off, he is currently in the running for class championship. Luke, we wish you the best of luck!
About The Local Guys
The Local Guys is designed to give everyday riders a chance to be showcased on XCRN and social media. Know someone who has impacted others or has accomplished something great and should be recognized? We encourage you to tell us about them — by nominating them.